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Chestertown Tea Party Festival Returns
May 27 - May 29
The Chestertown Tea Party Festival returns after a two-year hiatus. Highlights include a Pyro Musical Fireworks display, the popular U.S. Navy band the Country Current, and the Tea Party re-enactment.
The festival kicks off Friday, May 27 with a Street Party at the foot of High Street from 5 to 9 p.m. The party, hosted by Main Street Chestertown and featuring the popular Best Kept Soul (BKS) band, will keep guests dancing all evening to soul, rock, and R&B tunes. There will be a variety of food trucks. Beer and wine will also be for sale.
Festivities on Saturday, May 28 begin with the Chestertown Tea Party Festival Parade, commencing at 10 a.m., complete with fife and drum groups, community bands and the award winning Largo High School “Blue and White Marching Machine.” The highlight of the day is the 2 p.m. Tea Party re-enactment.
Members of the 1st Battalion Maryland Loyalists, 1st Maryland Regiment, 1st Battalion New Jersey Volunteers, 4th Company Brigade of Guards and Clotz’s Battalion will set up camp on the shores of the Chester River and perform maneuvers at the courthouse prior to the re-enactment.
The Heritage Village, located on the Courthouse lawn, features colonial chocolate making, beer brewing, grocers, sutlery, woodworking and blacksmithing. Highlights include a presentation by members of the Lenape Nation and a portrayal of Benjamin Banneker, innovative Black astronomer, mathematician, and naturalist. Walking tours of historic Chestertown are available between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
There will be plenty of children’s activities: storytelling, a Punch and Judy show, crafts, face painting and a jug band. Musical performances include strolling colonial musicians, rousing sea chanties, English country dancers, cloggers, country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and even a children’s jug band. The Country Current, U.S. Navy’s premier modern country and cutting-edge bluegrass band, is the featured act on the festival Main Stage, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. And do not miss Yvette Hynson and the Sumner Hall Children’s Choir singing Aretha Franklin’s iconic “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” at 11:45 a.m.
The Garfield Center for the Arts features a presentation honoring Phyllis Wheatley, the first published African American poet, and virtuoso musician Stephen Christoff playing colonial music on a variety of instruments. Also returning is Katherine Fahey and her Crankie show, old fashioned story telling art form using a long, illustrated scroll wound on two spools – a moving panorama accompanied by live music.
Saturday evening the sky will be lit up with Pyro Musical fireworks – fireworks set to music. The fireworks will be set off at dusk from Wilmer Park and will be visible from around Chestertown.
The fun continues on Sunday, May 29 in Wilmer Park with the Tea Party Beer Fest and the Raft Race. The Dirty Grass Players will entertain with toe tappin’ bluegrass. Children’s activities include instrument making followed by playing in a jug band.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.chestertownteaparty.org.